LDL cholesterol delivers cholesterol which becomes the material of cell membrane to all the body through the blood vessel. But when the cholesterol is too much due to unhealthy lifestyle, LDL cholesterol leaves the excessive cholesterol in the blood vessel, which forms plaque. Plaque narrows the blood vessel and once the plaque is broken and forms blood clots, they cause stroke or heart attack (Fig. 1 & 3).
HDL cholesterol collects the excessive cholesterol from the plaque and returns the blood vessel to its normal state (Fig. 4).
Fig. 2 shows LDL cholesterol before adding HLD cholesterol and after adding HLD cholesterol. Red parts are LDL cholesterol. After adding HLD cholesterol, LDL cholesterol decreases.
So it seems better that HDL cholesterol is more.
But actually, whether the amount of HDL cholesterol is large or small doesn’t change the risk of developing stroke, meaning that there is not much point in increasing the amount of HDL cholesterol.
The absorbing power of HDL cholesterol is important.
When checking the absorbing power of HLD cholesterol of 50 people whose ages were from 20s to 60s, 19 people’s (about 40 %) HDL cholesterol didn’t have enough power to absorb LDL cholesterol.
What makes a difference in the absorbing power of HDL cholesterol?
There are 2 persons whose BMI, the amount of consumption and the habit of smoking are the same among the people who attended the above experiment.
Person A’s HDL cholesterol has enough absorbing power, but person B’s HLD cholesterol doesn’t have.
Person A eats a food 2 to 3 times a week and person B eats the same thing only once a month.
The substance contained in the food is EPA.
The food contained EPA is a blue-back fish (Fig. 5).
Does eating blue-back fishes really improve the absorbing power of HDL cholesterol?
5 people whose absorbing power of HDL cholesterol had been less than the reference value (0.3) tried to eat blue-back fishes at least once a day for 2 weeks.
The result of the experiment was that 4 out of 5 people’s absorbing power of HDL cholesterol increased and became more than 0.3, and 1 person’s absorbing power was the same as before the experiment.
Why does a blue-back fish contain EPA a lot?
Because blue back fishes migrate in the cold sea where are rich in phytoplankton which produces EPA to keep their body elastic in the cold water.
EPA keeps the blood vessels soft and elastic so that EPA prevents hardening of the artery. In addition to that, it has turned out that EPA strengthens the absorbing power of HDL cholesterol.
Lowering the LDL cholesterol by medication only prevented 20 to 30 % of the diseases caused by hardening of the artery so that the medication to increase HDL cholesterol was developed, but it didn’t have any effect. So the function of HDL cholesterol stated to be paid attention to.
It is easy to take blue-back fishes by getting canned ones.
EPA is easily oxidized by the heat, so carpaccio, which coat raw fishes with olive oil and prevents EPA from oxidization, is recommended.
Other things to lower LDL cholesterol
Nuts and green tea (Fig. 6): 25 grams of nuts and at least a cup of green tea a day
Walking: 30 minutes a day
5 people whose absorbing power of HLD cholesterol was lower than the reference value tried taking nuts for 2 weeks, and their absorbing power was improved.
4 people tried walking and the absorbing power of 3 out of 4 people was improved.
What lowers the absorbing power of HDL cholesterol is oxidization or inflammation of blood vessels due to smoking, alcohol, obesity or high blood pressure.
Nuts, green tea and walking are considered suppressing the oxidization and inflammation
An island in Japan is paid attention to from the medical professions because the ratio of emergency transport due to stroke or heart attack decreased by 80 % within 3 years.
The rate of deaths due to brain hemorrhage around the islands including this island is the worst in all over Japan. The average blood pressure of the people in this island measured 4 years ago was more than 140. The condition of their blood vessel was very poor until 3 years ago so that the ratio of emergency transport due to stroke or heart attack was extremely high.
A doctor was assigned to this island 4 years ago and he improved various things that were making the condition of blood vessels worse.
(1) Cigarettes were removed from the island
By removing cigarettes from the island, nobody became able to get cigarettes in the island, so the ratio of smoking in the island decreased by 35 %.
(2) Habit of exercises
Walking in the evening is recommended because evening is the best time to build muscles. The hormone to maintain muscles, which is growth hormone is secreted in the evening.
Muscles repeat decomposition and regeneration called metabolism. Growth hormone regenerates the muscles decomposed by exercises. The time that growth hormone is secreted most while awaking is evening (4-6 pm).
Exercises in the evening promotes restoring the muscles damaged by exercises and leads to building up muscles and burning extra fat and sugar in the body efficiently.
(3) Dietary life
It has recently turned out that maintaining muscles prevents hardening of arteries, improving blood sugar, cholesterol, neutral fat and blood pressure.
The important nutrition to maintain muscles is Leucine.
Leucine is a type of essential amino acids contained in protein. Leucine is not only the material of muscles but also plays a very important role as the switch to synthesis muscles.
When repeating decomposition and synthesis of muscles, if leucine is not enough, synthesis of muscles is not processed and muscles are declined. So it is important to take leucine after exercises.
Leucine is rich in soy products, meats, fishes and dairy products.
When cholesterol in the blood increases, cholesterol is accumulated on the wall of the blood vessel, causing stroke or heart attack.
Cholesterol level can be checked by blood test, but you don’t go see a doctor so often.
But you can check cholesterol level by checking the thickness of Achilles’ tendon.
How to check whether cholesterol level is high or not
(1) Sit on a chair and cross your leg.
(2) Pick the thinnest part of Achilles’ tendon with your fingers.
(3) Measure the length between fingers (Fig. 1).
If the thickness of your Achilles’ tendon is more than 1.5 cm (0.6 inches), there is a possibility that you have high cholesterol.
Why is Achille’s tendon checked for cholesterol?
Achille’s tendon tends to store cholesterol. Achilles’ tendon is located at the lower part of the body, so the weight is always on Achilles’ tendon and Achilles’ tendon is easily damaged. To restore the damage, cholesterol is soaked out from the blood vessel nearby. Cholesterol is originally fat to restore the damaged tissue, but if the cholesterol level is high, Achilles’ tendon becomes swollen (Fig. 2).
According to a research, one of ten people who had heart attack had more than 1.5 cm thick of Achilles’ tendon.
Mona Lisa had high cholesterol?
When you look at around the eyes of Mona Lisa, you can find a fatty deposit (Fig. 3), which is called xanthoma (Fig. 4). If you have this kind of fatty deposits, there is a possibility of high cholesterol.
Hardening of blood vessels which can result in stroke or heart attack is mainly caused by high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
It has been found by recent researches that there are 2 ingredients which prevent and improve high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Fig. 1 is the cross-section of the blood vessel which path reduced by half due to plaque formed by cholesterol.
The ingredient to decrease cholesterol is a fish with glistening skin
Fishes with glistening skin or bluish back such as sardine, mackerel whose oil contains DHA and EPA which smooth the blood and rejuvenate blood vessels. This is actually what a lot of people already know.
But it turned out by the latest new research that there was a new fact that fishes with glistening skin stopped the aging of the blood vessel.
There is a possibility that eating bluish back fishes will remove plaques blocking the blood vessel and restore the blood vessel to the healthy condition.
If LDL cholesterol increases too much in the blood, LDL cholesterol forms a plaque by invading the blood vessel, resulting in hardening of blood vessels. What was believed previously was that increasing HDL cholesterol leaded to decreasing LDL cholesterol accumulating in the blood vessel. That means you have to increase HDL cholesterol to prevent aging of blood vessels.
But it has turned out that eating bluish back fish decreases LDL cholesterol without increasing HDL cholesterol.
Experiment: Difference of the amount of LDL and HDL cholesterol between people who eat a lot of bluish back fish and people who don’t
6 women with the age of 50s to 70s attended the experiment. 3 of them eat bluish back fish 2-4 times a week (Bluish Back Fish) and another 3 of them eat bluish back fish about once in 2 weeks (No Bluish Back Fish).
HDL cholesterol (guide line: more than 40 mg/dl)
Bluish Back Fish: 72, 43, 70
No Bluish Back Fish: 54, 79, 48
Whether or not eating bluish back fish didn’t make big difference about HDL cholesterol.
So what about the age of blood vessels?
Bluish Back Fish: 8-11 years old younger than their actual ages
No Bluish Back Fish: 3-8 years old older than their actual ages
What makes the big difference about the age of blood vessels even if their HDL cholesterols are almost the same?
We all have different power of HDL cholesterol.
According to the latest research, the stronger the power of HDL cholesterol is, the more hardening of blood vessels is prevented.
Bluish back fishes have the effect to increase the power of HDL cholesterol.
How about the power of HLD cholesterol of the above 6 people?
(guide line: more than 0.34)
Bluish Back Fish: 0.38, 0.35, 0.35
No Bluish Back Fish: 0.33, 0.32, 0.33
People who often eat bluish back fishes have strong HDL cholesterol and young blood vessels.
Why does eating bluish back fishes strengthen the power of HDL cholesterol?
It has turned out that a nutrition contained in bluish back fishes strengthens the power of HDL cholesterol.
The nutrition is EPA which is rich in the fat of bluish back fishes.
EPA strengthens the power of HDL cholesterol and decreases LDL cholesterol accumulating in the blood vessel.
HLD cholesterol usually retrieves LDL cholesterol accumulating in the blood vessel and delivers them to the liver, but can’t retrieve all LDL cholesterol.
EPA improves the ability of HDL cholesterol to retrieve LDL cholesterol, leading to improvement of hardening of blood vessels.
How much EPA should be taken?
It turned out that taking 1800 mg of EPA every day leaded to strengthening the power of HDL cholesterol and improving hardening of blood vessels.
1800 mg of EPA is equivalent to 2 slices of mackerels (Fig. 2).
A canned mackerel in water contains 1860 mg of EPA (Fig. 3).
Epigallocatechin gallate has a function to lower LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is oxidized and accumulated in the blood vessel. Epigallocatechin gallate prevents the oxidization of LDL cholesterol.
Epigallocatechin gallate breaks down the causative agent of arteriosclerosis.
Epigallocatechin gallate is rich in green tea. Among green teas, Sencha green tea contains 17 times more epigallocatechin gallate than Hojicha (Roasted green tea).
Epigallocatechin gallate is a kind of astringency. Astringency of green tea increases by being grown under the sun. Matcha and Gyokuro which are grown under the sunshade don’t contain as much epigallocatechin gallate as Sencha grown under the sun.
Hojicha (Roasted green tea) doesn’t contain as much epigallocatechin gallate as Sencha green tea because Hojicha is roasted with high temperature and high temperature roasting breaks down epigallocatechin gallate.
The person who invented Sencha which could prevent arteriosclerosis lived to the age of 97.
Black tea and oolong tea (55 mg/litter) don’t contain as much epigallocatechin gallate as Sencha green tea (340 mg/litter).
How to get Epigallocatechin gallate efficiently from Sencha green tea
There are 2 key points.
1. The temperature of water
The amount of epigallocatechin gallates dissolved in water depends on the temperature of the water. The higher the temperature of the water is, the more epigallocatechin gallate is dissolved. Astringency is the taste of catechin. So the more astringent the tea is, the more you can get epigallocatechin gallates.
Green tea also contains caffeine so you need to be aware of too much drinking.
2. Only 30 % of epigallocatechin gallate can be extracted
If you drink normal way, you can only get 30 % of epigallocatechin gallate because 70 % stays in the leaves. So Sencha powder (Not Matcha powder) is the way to take epigallocatechin gallates efficiently.
A prefecture is the highest of all the prefectures in Japan about both the average life span and the healthy life expectancy in both men and women.
Average life span: Men: 80.88 years old, Women: 87.18 years old
Healthy life expectancy: Men: 79.46 years old, Women: 80.04 years old
What kind of food are the people in the prefecture eating?
There are 3 factors considered to have a healthy and long life.
1. Reducing salt
High intake of salt can cause high blood pressure and can result in sudden death due to stroke.
The prefecture’s countermeasure is encouraging the people to increase vegetables when they eat soup (miso soup). Increasing vegetables reduces the amount of soup which contains salt and vegetables are rich in potassium which excretes salt from the body.
2. Preventing cancer by eating Mushrooms
Mushrooms have the effect to suppress cancer.
Enoki mushrooms, Nameko mushrooms and beech mushrooms are known to prevent cancer.
3. Eating Agar which is the king of dietary fiber
Agar which is vegetable gelatin is rich in dietary fiber. (Fig. 1)
The dietary fiber of agar is very good to absorb water. 1 gram of agar absorbs more than 100 ml of water. It is important for health to eat dietary fiber containing a lot of water.
Health Effects of Agar
(1) Prevention of Obesity
Agar jelly (Fig. 2) containing a lot of water makes you feel full, preventing over eating which leads to obesity.
(2) Improvement of Constipation
Agar jelly containing a lot of water increases the amount of stools and makes the stools softer, so it is effective to improve constipation.
(3) Prevention of Rapid Elevation of Blood Sugar
Elevation of sugar in the body ages the body. Sugar damages the blood vessel from the inside of the blood vessel, causing aging of the blood vessel. Sugar also attaches collagens in the skin and damages them, causing flaccid skin.
(4) Decrease of LDL Cholesterol
Continuous eating of agar jelly decreases LDL cholesterol which is the cause of hardening of the blood vessel.
How much agar should be eaten a day?
It is effective to eat 2 grams of dried agar stick (about one fourth of a stick) a day.
There are people whose neutral fat and LDL cholesterol are normal but arteriosclerosis is progressed.
When you have a blood test, blood is taken and the blood is centrifugalized. The centrifugalized blood has three parts which are separated to serum and blood cells. If your neutral fat is within the reference value, the serum is yellowish and clear. If it exceeds the reference value, the serum becomes white and cloudy.
When you eat something, fat is absorbed from the small intestines and changes to neutral fat and is delivered to the whole body by the blood. So everybody’s neutral fat after a meal increases to some extent. But as soon as neutral fat starts to increase, a substance decomposing neutral fat called Lipoprotein Lipase (LPL) is secreted.
If you are healthy, even if neutral fat increases after a meal, LPL decomposes the neutral fat immediately. So healthy person’s neutral fat doesn’t exceed the reference value even after a meal. But if the function of this enzyme (LPL) becomes weak, the decomposition after a meal can’t catch up with the increase of neutral fat and the measured value exceeds the reference value.
Serum which was clear when it was taken before a meal becomes cloudy after a meal. In addition, if you take a next meal before the elevated neutral fat doesn’t go down, the value of neutral fat goes up again and the condition that neutral fat is always high continues all day.
Why isn’t it found at the usual medical examination?
In the case of the usual medical examination, the blood is sampled without eating anything after dinner of the previous night, so neutral fat value returns to the normal range during sleep.
If high neutral fat state continues all day, the wall of the blood vessels is damaged and LDL cholesterol forms plaques, resulting in the progression of arteriosclerosis.
What type of people tend to have postprandial hyperlipidemia?
People whose weight has gained compared to they used to tend to have postprandial hyperlipidemia.
What is the cause of postprandial hyperlipidemia?
That is visceral fat. Visceral fat is easily affected by meals and exercises. People who gained weight compared to they used to have high possibility that they have visceral fat. People with a lot of visceral fat tend to have postprandial hyperlipidemia.
Why does visceral fat cause postprandial hyperlipidemia?
Because it is difficult for people with a lot of visceral fat to decompose neutral fat. Increase of visceral fat makes the function of neutral fat decomposing enzyme lower leading to increase of neutral fat.
If your neutral fat is high at the usual medical examination, the one after a meal is much higher. But the progression of arteriosclerosis can be about the same as people who have postprandial hyperlipidemia.
How to improve postprandial hyperlipidemia easily
1.Eat water soluble dietary fiber first.
Water soluble dietary fiber is rich in sticky food such as natto (fermented soybeans), okra, nameko mushrooms or yamaimo yam and seaweeds such as seaweed laver, kelp, wakame or agar and root vegetables such as daikon radish, calotte or burdock.
Water soluble dietary fiber changes to gel after absorbed in the intestines and attaches to the inner wall of the intestines suppressing the absorption of fat that you eat later. In addition to that, water soluble dietary fiber activates Lipoprotein Lipase (LPL) which decomposes neutral fat. So if you eat water soluble fiber first, you can suppress the sudden elevation of neutral fat after a meal.
2.Walking between 30 minutes and 1 hour after a meal for 10 minutes.
Fat taken from a meal becomes neutral fat and flows into blood stream between 30 minutes and 1 hour after a meal. If you do aerobic exercise at that time even if it is for 10 minutes, you can suppress the amount of neutral fat effectively.
The above two methods improve postprandial hyperlipidemia and prevent the accumulation of neutral fat in the body, leading to decrease of visceral fat.
58 years old female whose neutral fat after a meal was high tried the above two methods for a week. Her blood sample became clear (Fig. 1) and neutral fat 2 hours after eating changed from 164 to 68. The amount of visceral fat decreased by 10 % (Fig. 2).
Arteriosclerosis is hardening thickening of blood vessels by age, causing various life-threatening conditions. There are various causes such as aging, obesity, stress, smoking or lack of exercise, but the major cause is dietary life. Especially fat becomes a big risk factor of arteriosclerosis.
Q1. Which person tends to have arteriosclerosis?
(A)A person who likes fried food
(B)A person who likes fatty part of meats
A1. (B) A person who likes fatty part of meats
Why does a person who likes fatty part of meats tend to have arteriosclerosis?
There are vegetable fat such as sesame oil or canola oil often used for fried food and animal fat contained in fatty part of meats. Animal fat more easily changes to neutral fat than vegetable fat in the liver.
Neutral fat is an important energy source for us to live. Neutral fat is delivered to the whole body containing in a container. At that time, LDL cholesterol rides together in the same container. Neutral fat and LDL cholesterol are in the ratio of 4:1. But if you take too much animal fat causing too much neutral fat, more neutral fat comes into the container, the space left for LDL cholesterol in the container becomes small. That downsizes LDL cholesterol. When the downsized LDL cholesterol comes to blood stream, it invades small wounds on the walls of blood vessels where usually can’t be invaded. The invading downsized LDL cholesterol starts to form plaque and it gradually becomes bigger. Fig. 1 shows a blood vessel that arteriosclerosis happened.
Taking a lot of animal fat increases neutral fat and downsizes LDL cholesterol, leading to the progression of arteriosclerosis.
What increases neutral fat is not only animal fat.
Q2. Which increases neutral fat when you eat too much?
(A)Soba (Buckwheat noodles)
(B)Udon (Wheat noodles)
A2. (B) Udon (Wheat noodles)
Sugar contained in carbohydrate is one of the things which increases neutral fat. Both Soba and Udon are carbohydrate.
Why does Udon increase neutral fat?
Sugar contained in Udon is absorbed faster in the small intestines than the sugar contained in Soba. If you eat too much Udon, sugar in the blood rapidly increases a lot. The surplus sugar which was not consumed as energy in the body goes to the liver and increases neutral fat. As a result, if the plaque formed in the blood vessel breaks, blood vessel is blocked and the blood flow stops, possibly causing serious condition such as heart attack.
If you are worried about arteriosclerosis, what should you be careful about?
Q3. Which action more easily breaks plaque?
When you enter a cool room after you were under the brazing sun,
(B)Smoking a cigarette
A3. (B) Smoking a cigarette
The biggest trigger that bursts the plaque likely to burst is sudden contraction of the blood vessel.
When you enter the air-conditioned room from the outside under the brazing sun, the cool air contracts the blood vessel. At that time, if you smoke a cigarette, the blood vessel is contracted more. The speed of the blood flow becomes faster and by that stimulation, plaque gets ruptured. That makes the possibility to have heart attack or other serious condition higher.
It is known that honey contains a lot of vitamins and minerals.
Also honey contains a substance called Choline that melts cholesterol attached to the wall of blood vessels.
So taking honey daily gives you the following rewards:
If you are concerned about blood pressure, it would be a good idea to add some honey to your meals in addition to vinegar I introduced before as something lowering cholesterol.
This Blog is for a memo of my clinical realizations, information about health I have learned recently and update information.